Cold, mostly: SoS June 22, 2019

It’s been rather cold here in the Central Tablelands of NSW. A couple of mornings where the minimum temperature was almost -7 degrees (well below average for this time of year) really made us take notice of Winter, and we still have the two coldest months ahead of us. As often happens after a frost though, the days are usually brilliantly sunny, warm enough to garden in shirt sleeves. We don’t stop working however, as a nippy little breeze can be quick to let us know which season we are experiencing.

One: I start my six this week with the very last of the leaves clinging to the ornamental pear (inherited so no ID) which has delighted us for several weeks. It’s late to lose its leaves, so adds a bright spot of colour to the waning garden.

Two: Nerine. I featured this looking very queenly in my last Six. I’m afraid it didn’t survive the frosty onslaught, and all seven flowers are very dejected: stems spongy, heads hanging. I managed to keep the snails away, but not the frost.

Three: Gaillardia grandiflora ‘Mesa Red’ is also unhappy after the frost. I won’t cut this back so that the burnt parts will protect those underneath.

Four: Rosa ‘The Prince’ is holding on to the last flower.

Five: This little Narcissus growing under the Prunus blireana is happily naturalising and not concerned about the cold weather.

Six: The peak flowering period for Callistemon viminallis is Spring, but this one is very kindly putting on a ‘mini’ flowering exhibition now, for which I am very grateful. This Callistemon can be sensitive to frost too, but mine might have grown enough to be out of danger.

Six on Saturday, is where like-minded gardeners share what’s going on in their garden each Saturday. It’s a fascinating peep into gardens in countries around the world. You can join in by visiting The Propagator’s blog here. These are my six. What are yours, I wonder?

How does your garden fare in the frost? Is it well-protected or a bit exposed, like mine?

Weather today: Cold but sunny, -6.6 to 14 C

47 Comments Add yours

  1. Paul Foreman says:

    Minus 7 is chilly. Fantastic photo of the Rose.

    1. Jane says:

      A bit chilly for us! Thanks Paul.

  2. Vicki says:

    I’m very surprised to see the Callistemon in flower, but maybe that’s your ‘treat’ for the very chilly morning.

    We’re getting our extra cold chill in the next 2 mornings down in Melbourne 🙂

    1. Jane says:

      I’m surprised about the Callistemon too Vicki, but perhaps this has happened before and I haven’t really noticed. Others around the district are in flower too, so I hope they all have enough energy left for Spring.
      The mornings seem to become extra cold here when we have lack of rain and no cloud cover at night. Most annoying are the occasional days when it’s cloudy all day (looks like rain but doesn’t) and then clears up in the evening for a frost overnight.

  3. Lovely frost tinged flower photos. That Narcissus is particularly lovely. Like the autumn leaves too. Very tempted to get a bottlebrush plant. Not sure where it would go but I could worry about that after I got it.

    1. Jane says:

      Thanks, the frost does provide opportunities for interesting photos.
      You could plant one of the smaller bottlebrushes- they come in dwarf forms as well, although that probably still means about 1 metre. Or you could grow a big one and train the trunk so the crown is above everything else!

  4. Jude says:

    I love frost rimed leaves and flowers, the one thing about a cold winter that I miss down here. Gaillardia grandiflora ‘Mesa Red’ is a fabulous photo as is the rose. I think we just have to embrace the beauty of nature whatever the weather throws at us and you have certainly done that here.

    1. Jane says:

      Thanks Jude. Getting out on a freezing morning is quite uplifting especially as the sun starts to light up the garden. Embracing the weather is the way to go, otherwise one is frequently dissatisfied, although it’s a bit of a stretch to be happy about the lack of rain we’re experiencing. Luckily it isn’t so hard to deal with in the winter.

  5. Jo says:

    The frosty coating makes the plants so beautiful, in an entirely different way; or, perhaps, it your brilliant photography! The sunny narcissus is a reminder that everyone’s still alive though the temperatures are so cold. Thank you for sharing your garden today.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you for the compliment, Jo, I really just point the camera and hope for the best! The frost on the plants is very pretty and easy to photograph.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The slugs aren’t interested in my Nerine, but, like yours, can’t stand the frost. Just as the sun is coming out here, your frost pictures remind us that we are on the slippery slope down to winter now!

    1. Jane says:

      It was a bit disappointing to find the Nerine so affected by the cold, and it hasn’t recovered. I hope you get some lovely summer weather before the cold arrives. I know you’ve had a lot of rain.

  7. Lis says:

    I love to see photos of your garden, Jane. It’s so fascinating to compare different seasons in different hemispheres. The frost-rimed flowers have an exquisite beauty all of their own and the narcissus is a cheerful, optimistic note! I feel I’ve become such a soft southerner in our three years here, the idea of -7 now is horrendous. We are very spoilt, frosts are a real rarity in the garden, maybe two a year at most. It certainly brings a very different perspective to planting! Enjoy that winter sunshine. 🙂

    1. Jane says:

      Two frosts a year, Lis! Our worst months are July and August, and if the weather is very dry, as it is now, we can have frosts for days on end. Nothing compared to some places, I know, but it’s still hard on the garden. And us! However, frost does make for pretty photos and it’s fascinating to see those icy crystals in closeup.

  8. Tracy says:

    The photos are lovely, Jane. Winter is a much happier time for photography and the frost on the delicate flowers looks quite ethereal.

    1. Jane says:

      Thanks, Tracy. Yes, the frost is certainly pretty when it’s magnified as it’s possible to do with computers.

  9. Gill Heavens says:

    I wouldn’t mind a winter that was cold and sunny, it is the drear here (rhyme) that depresses me (and possibly the rest of the UK ) The colour of the pear leaves is so warm and rich, beautiful, and tiny little pears on the tree too! Do the birds eat them? Frost can be a gardener’s nightmare, but it is a gift to the photographer, lovely photos. 🙂

    1. Jane says:

      I’m quite surprised that the birds don’t seem to be overly interested in the tiny pears, Gill, and there’ll still be quite a lot left when the leaves are gone. It’s true that a sunny day makes the cold much more bearable. It’s cloudy and windy today and seems so much colder.

  10. Kris P says:

    Now that’s a frost! The Nerine is pretty even when hanging its head. It’s been years since I’ve seen frost here, even in the depths of winter but our inland valleys (where I grew up) experience these on occasion. Although we rung in summer yesterday, it still feels like early spring. The marine layer is holding off the heat, at least for the time being, but it hit 110F (43C) on July 5th last year so I’m not deluding myself that Mother Nature doesn’t have plans for us too.

    1. Jane says:

      I’m glad that you’ve had a good run Kris, and hope it stays that way for you after the summer you had last year. Our temps have risen, so we have a whole week ahead where the minimums are around 2 or 3 degrees. It can still be frosty, but much kinder on the garden.

  11. Barbara says:

    We’re lucky that where we live we don’t get heavy frost and it doesn’t get below freezing, but it is much cooler now. Lovely pictures.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Barbara. I suppose being not so far from the sea has a bearing on whether you get frost, although I do seem to remember frost when I lived in Wadestown. It’s ‘over the hill’ so the weather is a bit different.

  12. Carole says:

    IT seems strange to see frost on plants in June

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, I’m enjoying seeing all the northern hemisphere gardens with their beautiful flowers!

  13. Christel Dewar says:

    Looks great Jane, love that there are always flowers in your garden

    1. Jane says:

      Thanks, Christel. The flowers are getting a bit hard to find now as those heavy frosts really burnt the garden.

  14. Your frost look more severe than ours! Isn’t it lovely to see some colour, your Callistemon viminallis and Naricissus look very cheery, waiting for spring!

    1. Jane says:

      I thought we’d be about the same as Canberra, Gerrie. Thanks to dear old bottlebrush for providing us with some colour!

  15. Fred says:

    Thank you for sharing frosty pictures ! Here it is 32 ° C today and a cold snap is welcome. I didn’t know that the callistemon was so hardy. I asked myself the question of adding one for years but I resisted so far because of frost (-10 ° C some winters). Yours, well rooted, at -7°C looks good.

    1. Jane says:

      Hi Fred, 32 sounds good to me as I love hot weather! My Callistemon was damaged by frost last year but only on the tips. I think it’s grown tall enough now to be safe. I checked out their hardiness online and the lowest some of them seemed to be able to go is -8, so perhaps you could risk one if you have a sheltered spot.

  16. Beautiful photographs. We had very little frost this last winter

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Derrick.

  17. Wow – that’s a bad frost for you guys – lovely to see the ice covered flowers and the nonchalant narcissus!

    1. Jane says:

      Ah, nonchalant….I like that!

  18. @cavershamjj says:

    Daffs! I’ve just been making my bulb order longlist this evening.

    1. Jane says:

      Something to look forward to…both the list and the flowers.

  19. Your ornamental pear looks very much like ours which are Manchurian pears. They always lose their leaves very late just before they start to flower again and give birth to new leaves in its yearly cycle. We love ours even though the neighbours seem to think thy are untidy. Gardens should be untidy, I reckon.
    Lovely post, Jane.

    1. Jane says:

      Thanks,Gerard. My pears are columnar, so I don’t think they’re Manchurian, which is a good thing because there are five of them! Otherwise they have a similar growth habit. Yes, an untidy natural looking garden is more enjoyable to me than a manicured one.

  20. Pauline says:

    Brrrr that -7 made me shiver, when we think we are hard done by when it slips into single digits but without that minus in front. Beautiful photos showing that nature can still be stunning in winter. We are expecting rain this week and that will be most welcome

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Pauline. Not so cold here now, and a week of minimums just sneaking into the plus area: 2 or 3 degrees. Lucky you receiving rain: we have none for the foreseeable future.🙁 I hope you get a nice amount.

  21. Even though the frost is damaging, it does make pretty photos. It’s been cool here too but not that cool.

    1. Jane says:

      It does make pretty photos, and that’s what I have to keep in my mind during the wintry days.

  22. Lora Hughes says:

    That narcissus stands out w/all the frosted blooms. -7, that’s amazingly cold & you’ve 2 more months of winter! The callistemon looks like it’s in a different season altogether.

    1. Jane says:

      I don’t know if the Callistemon is confused or what is going on. Weather has been much kinder since my post, but there’s sure to be some more seriously cold weather in the near future esp as we’ve no rain forecast. The narcissus is a cheery spot of colour, and more to come.

  23. Narcissus for the win! Love your Callistemon too, and I really like the look of the frostbitten Nerine. It reminded me a little of an Octopus! Hang in there – spring will come again!

    1. Jane says:

      Thanks, Anna, I’m looking forward to spring….the best time in the year for us before the weather gets too hot and the garden has to bear a different kind of suffering. I love the hot weather though despite everything.

  24. Your photos are beautiful. This winter was brutal and quite odd actually. After a polar vortex, we had so many up and down weather temps that it confused our plants. We didn’t lose perennials, but they were stunted.

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